John J Skowronski

John J Skowronski
Northern Illinois University · Department of Psychology

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165
Publications
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Publications

Publications (165)
Article
Research described in the present article assessed (a) whether a fading affect bias (FAB) occurred in parent memories of a child as well as parent general personal memories, and (b) whether either or both of these FAB effects was moderated by a parent’s risk for child physical abuse. A FAB effect, unmoderated by parents’ abuse risk status, emerged...
Article
Full-text available
People exhibit impaired recall for highly self-threatening information that describes them, a phenomenon called the mnemic neglect effect (MNE). We hypothesized that the MNE extends to recall for information that highly threatens an individual’s important in-group identity. We tested our hypothesis in two experiments in which participants read beha...
Chapter
This chapter describes the Egocentric Tactician Model. The model purports to account for the influence of the self on social thought. Such thought refers to the social world and those who inhabit it (i.e., characterizing or construing another's actions, predicting others’ preferences or behaviors, evaluating what is normative or right). The model p...
Article
The present study examined the extent to which the aggressive tendencies of parents at risk for perpetrating child physical abuse (CPA) generalize to situations other than discipline-related encounters (e.g., a competitive gaming interaction). Participants included parents who were either low ( n = 90) or high ( n = 75) risk for CPA. Parents were l...
Article
The present study examined the extent to which the aggressive tendencies of parents at risk for perpetrating child physical abuse (CPA) generalize to situations other than discipline-related encounters (e.g., a competitive gaming interaction). Participants included parents who were either low (n= 90) or high (n = 75) risk for CPA. Parents were led...
Article
This chapter describes the Egocentric Tactician Model. The model purports to account for the influence of the self on social thought. Such thought refers to the social world and those who inhabit it (i.e., characterizing or construing another’s actions, predicting others’ preferences or behaviors, evaluating what is normative or right). The model p...
Article
This article introduces the special issue on autobiographical memory for Psychological Reports. In this introduction, we attempt to provide a context for autobiographical memory area by highlighting the diversity in the areas of scholarship that contribute to the area. We describe our perceptions of the contributions made by the various articles an...
Article
Exposing parents to a positive classical conditioning (+CC) procedure can (a) prompt positive evaluations of children, (b) alter judgments made about children from their behavior, and (c) reduce harsh behaviors enacted toward children. Two studies explored possible limits of these effects. Results from Study 1 showed that only some +CC effects evin...
Article
Some researchers assert that the psychological impact of negative information is more powerful than that of positive information. This assertion is qualified in the domain of human memory, in which (a) positive content is often favored (in the strength of memories for real stimuli or events and in false-memory generation) over negative content and...
Article
Research suggests that deficits in executive functioning are associated with negative parenting behaviors. However, limited research has examined the link between executive functioning and risk for child physical abuse (CPA) perpetration. Early studies examining executive functioning in parents at risk for perpetrating CPA relied on performance-bas...
Article
The tendency for the affect associated with positive autobiographical events to fade less over time than the affect associated with negative autobiographical events (the fading affect bias, FAB) has been observed in a variety of contexts, but numerous mediators have been reported. This current study searches for the FAB, and for potential moderator...
Article
Full-text available
Srull and Wyer (1979) demonstrated that exposing participants to more hostility-related stimuli caused them subsequently to interpret ambiguous behaviors as more hostile. In their Experiment 1, participants descrambled sets of words to form sentences. In one condition, 80% of the descrambled sentences described hostile behaviors, and in another con...
Article
Full-text available
The self-concept maintenance theory holds that many people will cheat in order to maximize self-profit, but only to the extent that they can do so while maintaining a positive self-concept. Mazar, Amir, and Ariely (2008, Experiment 1) gave participants an opportunity and incentive to cheat on a problem-solving task. Prior to that task, participants...
Article
An experiment examined the impact of thinking about autobiographical group-related events (i.e., a past group inclusion experience or a past group exclusion experience) on recognition memory. After encountering the experimental manipulation, participants studied a list of words. Participants later engaged in two subsequent recognition tests: a grou...
Article
Full-text available
We examined symptoms of disordered eating in the context of autobiographical memory via a phenomenon termed the Fading Affect Bias (FAB). The FAB is the tendency for the affect elicited by thinking about positive past events to fade slower than the affect elicited by thinking about negative past events. In Study 1 via an online survey procedure (Ev...
Article
Abstract Implicit personality theories (IPTs) represent the beliefs people hold about the extent to which personality is malleable (i.e., incremental beliefs) versus fixed (i.e., entity beliefs). IPTs influence how individuals process, understand, and respond during social interactions. The research described herein examined (a) whether parents who...
Article
The present study examined heart rate and heart rate variability (i.e., respiratory sinus arrhythmia [RSA]) in a sample of 48 general population parents (41.7% fathers), who were either at high risk (n = 24) or low risk (n = 24) for child physical abuse. During baseline assessments of heart rate and RSA, parents sat quietly for 3 min. Afterward, pa...
Article
The mechanisms underlying mnemic neglect (MN) and the conditions under which it waxes and wanes are not yet fully understood. The research in this article examined conditions during both encoding and recall that could potentially moderate the MN effect and that could provide cues about the cognitive mechanisms that contribute to the effect. Results...
Article
Four studies pursued the idea that spontaneous trait inferences (STIs) involve the formation of both inferential knowledge and associative knowledge while spontaneous trait transferences (STTs) involve only the formation of associative knowledge. These studies varied the type and amount of behavioral information from which perceivers could extract...
Article
Spatial perspective taking is a term that encompasses a class of phenomena that assess the extent to which a perceiver can access spatial information relative to a viewpoint different from the perceiver’s egocentric viewpoint (e.g. something on my right is on the left of someone facing me). We investigated whether spatial perspective taking that in...
Article
We revisit the thesis we first offered in 1997, namely, that the human capacity called “the self” is the product of evolutionary pressures. A review of the literature accumulated in the 20 years prompted three changes to the original thesis. First, we expanded our 1997 conception of the self. We argue that the self consists of a multiplicity of cog...
Article
The present study examined the associations between authoritarian parenting beliefs, attributions of hostile intent, negative affect, and harsh parenting practices. General population parents (N = 183; 31.1% fathers) completed self-report measures of authoritarian parenting beliefs and read vignettes describing children engaging in transgressions....
Article
Two studies assessed the extent to which people incorporated false facts provided by bogus others into their own recognition memory reports, and how these false memory reports were affected by: (a) truth of the information in others’ summaries supporting the false facts, (b) motivation to process stories and summaries, (c) source credibility, and (...
Article
Parents’ evaluations of children are believed to be a cognitive contributor to their subsequent child-directed harsh or physically abusive behaviors. The current research examined whether parents’ (N = 100) evaluations of children were moderated by either (a) the child behavior on which the evaluation was based and (b) parents’ measured risk for ch...
Article
Summary: Positive memories tend to hold their affective intensity across time better than negative memories, a phenomenon referred to as the fading affect bias (FAB). An initial study explored this bias in the context of parents’ affective responses to memories involving their children. Specifically, parents (N =90 for Study 1) were asked to recall...
Article
In three studies, participants remembered real-life behaviours at Time 1 and attempted to recall them at Time 2. When the recall target was the self, a positivity bias emerged: self-positivity. In Study 3, self-positivity extended to an individual (target) who was liked by the participant, but did it not extend to a disliked target. For this latter...
Article
Full-text available
The affect associated with negative (or unpleasant) memories typically tends to fade faster than the affect associated with positive (or pleasant) memories, a phenomenon called the fading affect bias (FAB). We conducted a study to explore the mechanisms related to the FAB. A retrospective recall procedure was used to obtain three self-report measur...
Article
This article reports results from a study in which participants encountered either (1) previously-known informants who were positive (e.g. Abraham Lincoln), neutral (e.g., Jay Leno), or negative (e.g., Adolf Hitler), or (2) previously unknown informants. The informants ostensibly described either a trait-implicative positive behavior, a trait-impli...
Article
The mnemic neglect model predicts and accounts for selective memory for social feedback as a function of various feedback properties. At the heart of the model is the mnemic neglect effect (MNE), defined as inferior recall for self-threatening feedback compared to other kinds of feedback. The effect emerges both in mundane realism and minimal feedb...
Article
Objective: Four studies (total N = 1,847 parents) examined whether harsh parenting behaviors would increase when parents experienced an instigation and whether this increase would be especially strong for parents who were high in trait aggression. Method: These predictions were tested both when parents’ experience of an instigation was manipulated...
Article
This investigation examined perceivers' character trait inferences and performance attributions in response to a target who invoked a gender stereotype to excuse poor math performance. Furthermore, this investigation sought to compare the effects of this excuse to the effects produced by non-stereotype excuses and the mere mention of a stereotype....
Research
Full-text available
The intensity of positive affect elicited by recall of positive events exceeds the intensity of negative affect elicited by recall of negative events (fading affect bias, or FAB). The research described in the present article examined the relation between the FAB and three regulatory goals of the self: esteem, continuity and meaningfulness. The ext...
Article
Three experiments are reported that explore affectively based spontaneous evaluative impressions (SEIs) of stimulus persons. Experiments 1 and 2 used modified versions of the savings in relearning paradigm (Carlston & Skowronski, 1994) to confirm the occurrence of SEIs, indicating that they are equivalent whether participants are instructed to form...
Article
The intensity of positive affect elicited by recall of positive events exceeds the intensity of negative affect elicited by recall of negative events (fading affect bias, or FAB). The research described in the present article examined the relation between the FAB and three regulatory goals of the self: esteem, continuity and meaningfulness. The ext...
Article
Full-text available
The present study was designed to clarify the associations between covert narcissism, overt narcissism, negative affect, and child physical abuse (CPA) risk. It was hypothesized that covert (but not overt narcissism) would be significantly associated with parental CPA risk and that negative affect would partially mediate this association. General p...
Article
Full-text available
The relation between social anxiety and memory for self-threatening information was investigated in the context of the mnemic neglect paradigm (Sedikides & Green, 2000). It was hypothesized that those high in social anxiety would evince a loss of mnemic neglect: They would show a reduced likelihood of poor memory for central, negative, and self-ref...
Article
Three experiments examined whether people spontaneously generate evaluations of target individuals under circumstances in which they are also known to generate spontaneous trait inferences (STIs). The first experiment used a standard savings-in-relearning paradigm to explore whether exposure to trait-implicative behavior descriptions facilitates th...
Article
Full-text available
The present study extends prior research examining the association between borderline personality disorder (BPD) features and child physical abuse (CPA) risk. We hypothesized that: (1) high CPA risk parents (compared to low CPA risk parents) would more often report clinically elevated levels of BPD features; (2) high CPA risk parents with elevated...
Article
Full-text available
The Fading Affect Bias (FAB) occurs when the affect associated with personal events fades differentially across time: Positive affect fades slower than negative affect. Three studies examined whether the magnitude of the FAB is moderated by narcissism. Results from Study 1 (diary method, N = 26) showed that low narcissism participants evidenced a l...
Article
People may have a chronic interaction goal that prompts generation of spontaneous trait inferences (STIs). However, proximal motivations may alter this pervasive tendency. One of these may be the proximal motive to minimize exposure to infectious diseases. That is, when people feel vulnerable to communicable diseases, they may prefer to avoid other...
Article
Full-text available
The affect associated with negative events fades faster than the affect associated with positive events (the Fading Affect Bias; the FAB). The research that we report examined the relation between trait anxiety and the FAB. Study 1 assessed anxiety using the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale; Studies 2 and 3 used the Beck Anxiety Inventory. Stu...
Article
This study examined whether parents with varying degrees of child physical abuse (CPA) risk differed in pain tolerance, pain sensitivity, and accessibility of aggression-related schemata. Participants included 91 (51 low CPA risk and 40 high CPA risk) general population parents. Participants were randomly assigned to complete either an easy or a di...
Article
This study examines whether self-verification strivings are greater for individuals with elevated features of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) than individuals with minimal features of BPD, and whether this is especially true for those in committed romantic relationships. Participants (N = 329) completed an online questionnaire that included a...
Article
Full-text available
Results from three studies indicated that emotional responses to memories can be changed by altering the working self. In particular, these results showed that emotional reactions to memories: (1) were especially positive when memories were perceived to be central to the working self (Experiment 1); (2) were muted when the working self was changed...
Article
Past research results suggest that reliable identification of emotions conveyed by facial expressions can be made either when faces are: (1) briefly glimpsed, or (2) viewed in profile. Of interest was whether such effects would persist when perceivers encountered both manipulations, briefly (100 ms) viewing 90-degree profile faces. Our results show...
Book
Recalling a memory often prompts an emotional response. Research examining the fading affect bias (FAB) indicates that the emotional response prompted by positive memories often tends to be stronger than the emotional response prompted by negative memories. This chapter presents an overview of research that has explored the FAB effect. This overvie...
Article
Objective: To examine child facial emotion recognition accuracy (ERA) in high-risk for child physical abuse (CPA) parents and low-risk for CPA parents (Study 1) and to conduct a meta-analysis summarizing published research on the relationship between child facial ERA and CPA (Study 2). Method: In Study 1, ERA data for child facial emotions were obt...
Article
Full-text available
Five studies examined the role of the self in affective responses to memories of a person’s own life events. Participants (total N = 237) included university students or community members from three countries (Ireland, UK, USA). Participants described and then rated multiple autobiographical events (n > 2600) via diary-keeping and retrospective rec...
Article
This study examined whether caregivers who exhibit high risk for child physical abuse differ from low-risk caregivers in reactions to transgressing children. Caregivers read vignettes describing child transgressions. These vignettes varied in: (a) the type of transgression described (moral, conventional, personal), (b) presentation of transgression...
Article
The present study examined whether parents at high-risk for child physical abuse (CPA) differed from low-risk parents in their tendency to infer positive traits and negative traits from children's behaviors. The final sample consisted of 58 (25 low CPA risk and 33 high CPA risk) parents. Parents completed a false-recognition task, which involved vi...
Article
Full-text available
Prior research suggests that the negative affect associated with autobiographical memories fades faster across time than the positive affect associated with such mem-ories (i.e., the fading affect bias, FAB). Data described in the present article reveal several moderators of this bias. The FAB is small when events are perceived to be self-important...
Article
Spontaneous trait inferences (STIs) are ubiquitous and occur when perceivers spontaneously infer actor traits from actor behaviors. Previous research has elucidated the processes underlying STIs, but little work has focused on the functions of STIs. This article proposes that these unintentional early inferences serve a general approach or avoidanc...
Chapter
As illustrated by the insights and ideas of philosophers such as John Locke, the exact relation between autobiographical memory and the self has long been a focus of scholarly interest. Recent efforts have explored these insights and ideas using the scientific techniques available to modern psychology. This article provides an entrée into this real...
Article
Full-text available
The theory of evolved sex differences in jealousy predicts sex differences in responses to sexual infidelities and emotional infidelities. Critics have argued that such differences are absent in studies that use continuous measures to assess responses to hypothetical infidelities or in studies that assess responses to real infidelities. These criti...
Article
Full-text available
This experiment, a simulated trial study, examined whether trait expectancies and stereotype expectancies similarly affected memory for expectancy-relevant behaviors. Participants read a description of a defendant, which was followed by testimony that induced a trait or stereotype expectancy. After viewing the evidence items and giving a guilt judg...
Article
Scholars have often speculated about the nature of the self. In this article I contend that there is no such mythical beast. Instead, I argue that there are likely a number of different mental subsystems that contribute to selfrelevant behavior and to selfness. These subsystems contain different structures, reflect the operation of different proces...
Article
Contemporary theories of child physical abuse (CPA) emphasize the proximal role of social cognitive processes (many of which are implicit in nature) in the occurrence of parental aggression. However, methods that allow for the systematic examination of implicit cognitive processes during the course of aggressive interactions are needed. To address...
Article
The authors examined whether there was evidence of choking under pressure (CUP) among professional golfers on the 2009 PGA Tour. Following the suggestion of Beilock and Gray (2007), choking was determined via within-golfer comparisons. Analyses yielded strong evidence of CUP in that evidence of performance decline was greatest when pressure was gre...
Article
The present study examined the extent to which attentional control mediates the relationship between adverse early life experiences (e.g., harsh discipline, low perceived support) and child physical abuse (CPA) risk in adulthood. Participants included 138 general population parents (30.4% fathers and 69.6% mothers) who completed self-report measure...
Article
One characteristic of humans is that they have a sense of self. An examination of research and theory exploring the psychology of the self suggests that it has at least three important aspects. The first of these aspects is representation: the memory system contains mental structures that store and organize different kinds of selfrelevant knowledge...
Article
This chapter reports on autobiographical memory. The focus is placed in the discussion on two related lines of research: namely, fading affect bias and the processes by which people remember the date when events have occurred. Specifically, it considers the emotions that accompany recall of autobiographical memories and how and why the intensity of...
Article
Past research suggests that spontaneous trait inference (STI) and spontaneous trait transference (STT) may reflect different cognitive processes, the former being inferential and the latter associational. The present research was designed to explore whether either or both of these processes involve thinking that occupies cognitive capacity. Four st...
Article
Construal Level Theory argues that psychologically distant information will be processed conceptually, while psychologically near information will be processed concretely. Such theorizing implies that in the classic Asch (1946) paradigm in which participants make trait judgments of targets after viewing lists of trait words describing the targets,...
Article
To explore whether adults possess implicit attitudes toward children and whether those attitudes are especially negative among respondents who are high in child physical abuse (CPA) risk. The present study used an implicit evaluative priming procedure. In this procedure, participants were instructed to make decisions about the evaluative implicatio...
Article
A self-verification model of social anxiety views negative social self-esteem as a core feature of social anxiety. This core feature is proposed to be maintained through self-verification processes, such as by leading individuals with negative social self-esteem to prefer negative social feedback. This model is tested in two studies. In Study 1, qu...
Article
Although the Child Abuse Potential (CAP) Inventory is generally considered to be a reliable screening tool for assessing child physical abuse risk, there is concern that it may lack internal consistency when completed by adolescents (Blinn-Pike and Mingus, J Adolesc 2000;23:107-11). This concern has been reflected in subsequent reviews summarizing...
Article
The present investigation used event-related potentials (ERPs, N400 and N300) to determine the extent to which individuals at low and high risk for child physical abuse (CPA) have pre-existing positive and negative child-related schemata that can be automatically activated by ambiguous child stimuli. ERP data were obtained from individuals at low (...
Article
Past research has shown that perceivers intentionally may make trait inferences about others and use this information to make predictions about these others' future behaviors. Other research has also shown that people can make trait inferences without intent—that is, spontaneously. However, one unexplored avenue is whether spontaneous trait inferen...
Article
This is an addendum to "Improving the Predictive Validity of the Implicit Association Test" by Heider and Skowronski (2007). Recently discovered coding errors led to inaccurate reporting of regression results in Experiment 2 of the original report. This addendum presents the corrected results, along with revised conclusions based on those correctio...
Article
Inferences made about actors influence subsequent processing about those actors. Three experiments conducted in the context of spontaneous trait inference (STI) making demonstrate that such influences occur can either occur via automatic processes or via controlled processes. Results from Experiment 1 demonstrated that processing goals manipulated...
Article
To examine differences in accessibility of positive and negative schema in parents with high and low risk for child physical abuse (CPA). This study combined picture priming and lexical decision making methods to assess the accessibility of positive and negative words following presentation of child and adult faces. The child and adult faces depict...
Article
Full-text available
Recent theory and research suggest that physically abusive parenting behavior might be understood as originating from: 1) greater accessibility of hostile/negative schema, and/or 2) lower accessibility of benign/positive schema. This study examined whether parents at high and low risk for child physical abuse (CPA) differed in the extent to which t...
Article
Full-text available
People overestimate the extent to which emotion-producing life events affect subsequent affect. However, research has yet to conclusively demonstrate that this phenomenon occurs following significant trauma affecting entire communities, or whether it applies to predictions of discrete emotions. Exploring such issues, student reports of emotion stat...
Article
In 3 experiments, some participants read a story describing ambiguously mean behaviors performed by another person. Other participants read the story and imagined that they performed the behaviors. Results showed that (a) exposure to a conceptual priming manipulation caused assimilation effects in actor meanness judgments, regardless of whether the...
Article
This article reviews research examining the fading affect bias (FAB): The finding that the intensity of affect associated with negative autobiographical memories fades faster than affect associated with positive autobiographical memories. The FAB is a robust effect in autobiographical memory that has been replicated using a variety of methods and p...